Letetra Widman, sister of Jacob Blake who was shot in the back by Wisconsin police, delivers a powerful message. YouTube Screenshot
Here’s your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin’!)
• It took two full days for Mayor Wheeler to issue a public statement about the Saturday afternoon battle between violent alt-right agitators and Black Lives Matter protesters in downtown Portland that was ignored by Portland Police. HOWEVER! The Mercury got ahold of an email from Wheeler to a Portland resident which illustrates how he really feels. Our Alex Zielinski has the story.
• Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell held a press conference this afternoon to explain why Portland officers did not intervene when a far-right rally turned into a violent brawl Saturday afternoon. Lovell mostly dodged reporters’ questions, but did suggest that people who engage in life-threatening violence during a protest won’t be immediately arrested if that violence was short-lived. According to Lovell, police are only now “investigating” the people who pointed loaded firearms, threw brutal punches, and maced non-violent protesters.
• Another must read from our Blair Stenvick: A local ASL interpreter who has been attending protests to inform and protect the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was arrested and injured by Portland Police for the crime of… dancing?
• In regards to the continuing protests, Gov. Kate Brown announced that “it’s time for the violence and vandalism to end so Portland can focus on the important work to be done to achieve real change for racial justice.” We assume the governor isn’t talking about the excessive violence perpetrated by police.
• Perhaps the Governor should take a look at this video before making her next statement, and stop laying blame at the feet of those who suffer the most.
1/This is Jacob Blake’s sister Letetra Widman. Here is her powerful statement.
• Project Veritas—a right wing group that manufactures “stings” against Democrats—is suing to overturn Oregon’s ban on secretly recording people without their knowledge. (What a bunch of sweethearts, amirite?)
• Don’t miss this fascinating/infuriating read from OPB about the deep racism of certain people in rural Oregon and their efforts to harass and intimidate those demonstrating for the Black Lives Matter movement.
• Related: Oregon Republicans used their time during the first night of the Republican Convention to shit-talk their own state—in particular, Portland—for continuing to protest for racial equality and against police brutality. (I’m really starting to get the feeling that members of the Oregon GOP would be happier somewhere else.)
• We’re coming up on the six month anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Oregon, which means it’s time to take a look back at why we’ve done better at battling back the virus than neighboring states, but how we could still be improving.
• While hospitalizations have dropped, the Oregon Health Authority reported another 247 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, and seven additional deaths.
• Bad news for the Blazers, and very good news for the Lakers: Damian Lillard is out of game five of the series with LA with a sprained knee.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by Wisconsin police in the back seven times in front of his children, is currently alive but paralyzed from the waist down, according to his father. It’s unknown whether his current condition will be permanent.
Jacob Blake’s lawyers demand officer who shot him be terminated and say a civil lawsuit is being prepared:
– Blake is currently in surgery and paralyzed
– Bullets shattered vertebrae
– Needed part of colon and small intestine removed
– His mom says he is ‘fighting for his life’ pic.twitter.com/Rz0lladPAB
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 25, 2020
• Trump announced (in a tweet, of course) that he will be nominating acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad “CHAD!” Wolf to the position on a permanent basis, because he’s been such a good little toady.
• In “sad trombone” news: “First night of GOP convention draws 15.8 million viewers, 3 million less than Democratic convention.” (Wahh-wahh-waaaaaaaaaaah.)
• The second night of the GOP Garbage Parade (AKA the Republican National Convention) features a keynote address from Melania Trump and other members of the Trump family, who I’m sure will offer a fair, unbiased view of the president.
• Today in yet more pre-election corruption: Trump threatened hospitals across the nation, telling them if they didn’t report coronavirus patient data and test results to the Department of Health and Human Services (where he could control what information is being released to the public), he would pull their Medicare and Medicaid funding.
• More than 100 new cases of COVID-19 have been discovered in eight states—all originating from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, two weeks ago.
• Hurricane Laura is bearing down on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, as hundreds of thousands are asked to evacuate.
• In “probably a good idea” news: “KFC suspends ‘Its Finger Lickin’ Good’ slogan amid pandemic.”
• YOU NEED LAUGHS, RIGHT? Then don’t miss the livestream I, ANONYMOUS SHOW featuring the wildest anonymous confessions and rants from the famous I, Anonymous column that will be deliciously dissected by a hilarious panel of comedians including Simon Gibson, Steph Tovah, Ify Nwadiwe, and your host Kate Murphy! GET THEM TICKETS NOW, BABIES!
• THE WEATHER REPORT: It’s gonna be another sunny day tomorrow with a comfortable high of 83.
• And finally… LOOK, PANDAS. Isn’t life tough enough right now? Just let the dang zookeeper RAKE THE LEAVES.
This video of pandas just being pandas while a zookeeper desperately tries to rake leaves is the best video on the internet https://t.co/XknWMhEMbk pic.twitter.com/pl1xPh19hP
— Kyle Hill (@Sci_Phile) August 19, 2020
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